In other words, I'm normal. This is what happens in the wake of loss. I have this longing for my usual routine, for some time in my garden (pretty well gone from the necessary neglect of the last few weeks), to sit at my desk, to be studying the Scriptures, preparing to create a message, to be with my church members, to hear the children's voices at our Children's Day Out program, to participate in the organized chaos of the Midweek Miracle, our Wednesday night ministry for children. But even if I could do those things, I wouldn't have the energy to focus on them or enjoy them.
I'm also busy pondering the whole issue of stuff. Stuff. The things that fill our living spaces, cars, pocketbooks and briefcases, computers and phones, lockers and rented containers, mind and souls. Stuff. I've got it; you've got it; we've all got it. And my mother had it.
When Daddy died, we had given his closetful of clothes to the woman who, along with her team, has faithfully and carefully cleaned my parent's house for a number of years. She said she knew some people who could use them and we were pleased at the thought that those clothes would see new life elsewhere. I had thought to give her some of Mother's stuff, but then my sister heard that the housekeeper was a hoarder herself. That she just piled stuff given to her by her clients into her overstuffed house. As in the kind of place they make TV shows about these days. Hoarders. People so trapped by their stuff that they destroy themselves and those around them in the compulsive need to get more stuff and relinquish nothing.
So, Mother's clothes went to Special Touch in Krum where I know they'll be well-distributed. But, of course, clothes are just the tip of the iceberg, as they are for most of us. There are so many other things we use for daily living, and so many other thing we just have. Stuff.
My Mother had too many books. I have too many books. My mother had too many files. I have too many files (but mine are just more compact because they are on my computer: but it doesn't mean I don't have them). My mother had too many clothes. I've got too many clothes. How much does it take for someone to be appropriately clothed, anyway? Not that much. Really.
So, while it is easy in my fatigued, irritable, overwhelmed state to think, "Mother, how could you leave me with all this to clean up," it might be better for me to think, "Why do I have so much stuff? What good does it do? What harm does it do? What is really important?"
My biggest fear right now: that the emotional numbness that follows a death is going to wear off before I can get through this week and I'm just going to collapse. That I'm not going to be able to sort through enough of the stuff to gain some sense of control over my life. That I'm just going to have to start sitting and letting the sadness flow.
I already miss her.